Black Diamond Neve Pro Crampons | Review

The Black Diamond Neve Pro are the ideal emergency pair of ski mountaineering crampons

Why we chose the Black Diamond Neve Pro Crampons: Lightweight, intuitive, secure 

Weight: 197g

The term ‘reinventing the wheel’ comes to mind when you think of designing a new pair of ski boot crampons. The tried and tested fixed bar mechanism has stood the test of time as the go-to means of keeping the crampon fixed on your boot. And for good reason; this design has been rigid, durable and secure for technical ascents, but often seemed overkill for lightweight ski mountaineering crampons.

But now, in recent years, it seems like many brands have looked to reinvent this classic design with a novel solution that manages to keep weight to a minimum, but packability to a maximum.

In the case of these, the Neve Pro crampons from Black Diamond, a simple flexible cable links together both the toe and heel, while aluminium front and heel points keep the weight as low as possible for ski mountaineering and straightforward ice ascents.

Features and Build

Let’s start with the build of these things. As mentioned earlier, they’re forged from lightweight aluminium. 10 points (six at the front and four at the back) give the crampons enough bite for snowy ascents, simple mountaineering and very easy ice climbing.

Saying that, you wouldn’t want to take these on hard – technical ascents as the softer aluminium simply won’t be up to the job (it’ll bend and possibly snap on steep mixed or icy conditions). But that kind of goes without saying as, with these, you’re getting a pair of highly packable crampons that come in at a weight of 197 grams.

Speaking of that packability, the Neve Pro features an innovative metal cable to join both toe and heels together. This cable is semi-flexible which means both the toe and heel can fold together to create a very small package when not in use. Black Diamond includes a hand carrying bag to stash the two crampons together while keeping them protected.

The crampons are secured to the boot via a fully step-on system, with a metal bar for the toe welt and another on the heel. An adjustable strap loops around the cuff of your boot to ensure you don’t lose the crampon if do they manage to fall off your boot.

Adjustment to fit different boot sizes is made through a simple, yet effective, ladder system where the metal wire can be lengthened or shortened by fixing it off at different points. One downside to the similar concept, the Petzl Irvis, was that the cord would stretch over a few hours of use on your boot, meaning the crampons would sometimes fall off your boot. This meant frequent adjustment was required. We can’t see this being the case with the Neve Pro due to the more rigid nature of the metal cable system.

Finally, as is standard with snow-specific crampons, the Neve Pro features sets of anti-balling plates. These rubber plates are designed to prevent snow from building up between the points, as is common for crampons without anti-balling plates. This means you can worry less about snow buildup and concentrate on moving fast in the mountains.

What’s most impressive about all of this is that these highly packable crampons come at an extremely low weight of 197 grams per crampon. This weight means you’ll barely notice them at the bottom of your pack, making them the ideal emergency crampon – there for you if you ever need them to descend an icy couloir, or if you get caught out by technical terrain on your ascent.

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